On August 11 2014, the world lost the smile of the legendary comedian, Robin Williams. Williams death came as a surprise and even more surprising it was ruled a suicide. His death not only shook up childhood memories but put a spotlight on those battling depression. Stand-Up comedian and student Rob Sherrell (Photoed in blue) decided to share a very open conversation about his own battles with depression in an open letter, exclusive to Comedy Hype. September 2016 is noted as being National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.
By ROB SHERRELL
I finally mustered up the courage to talk about you to someone besides my counselor. When you’re someone in the funny business, people think you don’t exist. You do. You’re very prevalent, ever lurking. We’re not supposed to mention your name, but you’re too ugly to ignore anymore; like if Flavor Flav had a baby with bag of pork rinds, ugly. I’m talking Kim Kardashian’s ass-to-thigh ratio, ugly.
You make me feel so lost and alone, which is a pretty hard feat considering I stand in a room of hundreds of people all clapping and laughing along with whatever I say. So, I mean, kudos to you. I stand on stage watching people laugh and smile knowing damn well I can barely do that for myself. I wonder if that’s how Robin Williams felt. Oh wait… too soon? It’s been a couple years right? We can talk about this. We need to talk about this.
I used to think you were too big to get a grip on; the Rasputia to my Norbit. I’ve been doing better though. Learning that there can be humor in sorrow has been helpful in this constant battle with you. This is despite the societal ideology that, because we tell jokes, comedians are unable to be depressed. “Aren’t you a comedian? Smile! Tell us something funny!”
This is when you have to stop and think that society is full of some dumb ass people. Not all of them but some and that’s okay. We’re all kind of figuring out this mental health thing out as we go. But come on guys, because we’re entertainers, do we not feel? Can we not be human? We go through things everyday just like everyone else, sometimes more than everyone else- with the constant pressure of the stage and putting our mental health aside for this audience or the next. Yet strangely enough the stage is the only home some of us know.
Now, I’m no doctor, (mostly because blood makes me pass out like a lil bitch), but I’ve been told that things get better. And I’m learning day by day that they do. In small steps, we start see the purpose in things again, even if just for a glimpse. Eventually, we rise from the darkness like a Cinnabon. SIDE NOTE: Sorry ya’ll, I’m hungry as hell writing this.
To all my funny brothers and sisters fighting you and your baby mama, Anxiety, I say hold on. We can’t let you hold us back from our passion and what makes us unique. So, Depression, I will not let you win. I will fight you like Solange did Jay. To the end. I will win. We will win.
Kiss my black ass,